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Parish Council Meeting – May 2024 – Draft

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BELSTONE PARISH COUNCIL

Draft Minutes for the meeting of Belstone Parish Council held on 20th May 2024 at Belstone Village Hall at 7.30 pm

Councillors Present:

Michael Ash (Chairman), Jon Pike, Peter Cooper, Theresa Weaver, Deborah Hosegood, Claire Grubb
Also Present: Sally Fullwood (Clerk), 1 member of the public.
Not Present: Andrew Booth

2024/25-007 Election of Officers

  • It was proposed by Cllr Cooper and seconded by Cllr Hosegood that Cllr Ash be elected as Chairman of the council for the next year. This was agreed. His Acceptance of office form was signed.
  • It was proposed by Cllr Ash and seconded by Cllr Cooper that Cllr Pike be elected as Vice-Chairman of the council for the next year. This was agreed. His Acceptance of office form was signed. Duties such as the Clerk’s Appraisal would be delegated to other councillors.

2024/25-008 Disclosures of Interests

Cllr Grubb volunteered that she may have an interest in item 19 as she has children at South Tawton Primary School. It was agreed that this did not count as a conflict and she could take part in the discussion and decision.

2024/25-009 Apologies for Absence

There were no apologies for absence.

2024/25-010 Public Participation Session

There was no public participation.

2024/25-011 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 29th April 2024 were considered, agreed and signed as a correct record.

2024/25-012 Representation on other bodies

It was agreed to appoint the following representatives.
• Village Hall Committee – Cllr Weaver
• Eastern Links Committee – To be done in rotation
• Sticklepath Village School Trust – Cllr Cooper
• Greener Belstone – Cllr Grubb

2024/25-013 Meeting Dates for the rest of 2024-25

The following meeting dates were confirmed:
Monday July 8th 2024 (note change of date), Monday Sept 9th 2024, Monday Nov 11th 2024, Monday Jan 13th 2025, Monday Mar 17th 2025

2024/25-014 Borough and County Councillor Statements

Cllr Lynn Daniel (West Devon Borough Council) had sent reports for April and May which are available on the website or by application to the Clerk. These were noted.

2024/25-015 Chairman’s Announcements

Cllr Ash reported that a sign in Skaigh Lane near the Skaigh House entrance, facing traffic coming down the road, is leaning back. Action: Clerk to report.

2024/25-016 Clerk’s Report

The Clerk’s report, previously circulated, was noted. There will be an online meeting to Connect Devon Highways and Parish Councils on Wednesday 5th June, 12:30-14:00. The Clerk is planning to attend.

2024/25-017 Coronation Lantern

The Grant of Listed Building Consent was noted. Cllr Pike had checked the quote with the supplier at £1,600 + VAT. They will not fit it themselves. Cllr Cooper was concerned about how to fix the lamp to withstand Belstone winds. It was agreed that somebody should be found to fix it with a guarantee. Action: Cllr Cooper will look for a contractor. Cllr Pike had the names of two organisations who could provide funding. Action: Cllr Pike will start applications. Action: Clerk will approach Highways again, who never replied to the original enquiry about turning off the existing lamp and maintenance.

2024/25-018 Car Park Repairs

The repairs to the hole in the car park had been completed at no cost, with thanks to Cllr Cooper.
Cllr Cooper suggested that the chippings that have migrated on to the road from the Car Park should be moved back. It was agreed to arrange a working party for Tuesday 28th May at 7pm with high viz jackets, shovels, brushes and a blower. Action: All. It was also noted that the Car Park reserve may need more resources when the next budget is agreed.

2024/25-019 Request from South Tawton School

It was agreed that the Clerk should reply to South Tawton School saying that the Council has a very limited budget for grants and cannot give anything to the fund, but suggesting that they apply to Denbrook. Action: Clerk.

2024/25-020 End of Year Budget 2023-24

The end of year expenditure against budget for the financial year 2023-24 was reviewed, and accepted.

2024/25-021 Internal Auditor’s Report 2023-2024

The Internal Auditor’s report was noted and accepted.
It was agreed to appoint Chris Walpole as the Internal Auditor for 2024-25.
The accounts were signed off by the Chairman and Clerk/RFO.
It was agreed that the Budget Reserves, Bank Account sheets and General Reserves were not needed, and that the Receipts and Payments sheet should be changed to list income and expenditure in a single list.

2024/25-022 AGAR 2023-24

The Council reviewed the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) for 2023-24.
A. The Certificate of Exemption was signed by the Chairman, Michael Ash and the Clerk, Sally Fullwood.
B. The Annual Governance Statement was agreed and signed by the Chairman, Michael Ash and the Clerk, Sally Fullwood.
C. The Accounting Statements were agreed and signed by the Chairman, Michael Ash and the Clerk, Sally Fullwood.
D. The Period for the Exercise of Public Rights was set from Monday 3rd June to Friday 12th July 2024.

2024/25-023 Planning

A. Planning Applications

There were no planning applications on which the council had been asked to comment.

B. Planning Decisions

The following decisions were noted:

0035/24 Town LivingChange of use, demolition and alterations to the barn at Town Living Farm to form a new full market dwelling.Withdrawn
0049/24 Beacon ViewDemolition of rear extensions and replacement with new double-storey rear extension plus new access to frontage with driveway and parkingWithdrawn
0105/24 Coronation StoneReinstatement of village lanternGranted Conditionally

C. Other Planning Matters

A Certificate of Lawfulness application 0120/24 for the extension at Burl, upon which the Council is not consulted, was noted.

2024/25-024 Finance

A. Recent Transactions

• Payments – Data Protection Fee – £35, Devon Association of Local Councils – £115.42, Ink Cartridges & Laminating – £29.63, Wood for bench repair – £105.60
• Receipts – Interest £3.72
• Total Balance (20/05/24) £5,414.24 (including £620 election reserve, £73.89 Car Park Reserve)

B. Payments

The following payments were agreed:
• Insurance Payment £145.80 (same as last year)
• Auditor’s Honorarium £25
• Training for Cllr Grubb and Cllr Hosegood
o Planning Course (3rd June) £36
o New Councillor Training Courses (4 sessions @ £18) £72
• Clerk’s Wages Apr-Jun (to be paid mid-June) £557.08
• Budgeted Transfers to Car Park Reserve £75 and Election Reserve £50
Proposer: Cllr Cooper, Seconder: Cllr Weaver

2024/25-025 Clerk’s Holiday

It was agreed to approve the Clerk’s holiday for 17th-30th July, Cllr Pike will monitor the emails in that period. Action: Cllr Pike

2024/25-026 Rural Village Services Group

It was agreed that the Council did not want to join the group. Action: Clerk to reply.

2024/25-027 Tongue End Hedge

It was agreed that the Clerk should send a letter to the owners of the hedge between the junction and the bus stop indicating that it is the owner’s responsibility to cut back the hedge and requesting permission to enter the land to cut around the bus shelter. Action: Clerk

2024/25-028 Parking

The Clerk had already acknowledged the resident’s letter about the car park signs and notified her of the actions already taken. It was agreed that no further action was necessary.

It was agreed to request the larger of the two designs for the village sign offered by Josh Scillitoe. Action: Clerk.
It was noted that the bigger sign would require some trees to be cut back to be visible.

2024/25-029 Risk Register

It was agreed to accept the minor change to the Risk Register to ensure that a Vice-Chairman had admin permissions for the Council emails, so that they could still be accessed if the Clerk was incapacitated.

2024/25-030 Items for Next Parish Council Agenda

It was agreed that Cllr Pike would undertake the review of the new Financial Regulations. Action: Cllr Pike, Action: Clerk to send links to Cllr Pike. There is no specific deadline by which they have to be reviewed, but it is past the annual review time.
The next meeting on 8th July – Financial Regulations, Asset Register, Clerk’s Appraisal.

The meeting closed at 20.51 pm.
The date of the next meeting will be Monday 8th July 2024 at 7.30pm.